Experiential Learning


"In its simplest form, experiential learning means learning from experience or learning by doing. Experiential education first immerses learners in an experience and then encourages reflection about the experience to develop new skills, new attitudes or new ways of thinking." (Lewis and Williams ***)

The School of Public Health is always building new relationships with public health organizations and practice partners to support students through experiential learning opportunities.

Explore the opportunities below and contact Erin Pollock, associate teaching professor, to get involved.

SPH 536: Engagement for Public Health Action

SPH 536 is a first-year course with a key component of having students connect with different types of stakeholders (organizations, communities, etc.) about engagement — what we’re calling Lessons in Engagement. 

Students will meet with public health organizations to learn about both their experiences of being engaged or sought out, and experiences/practices of engaging others to accomplish the work. Students will lead the discussion, make observations and bring back lessons learned to share with the whole class. 

Support for this looks like:

  • Virtual or in-person (COVID dependent) participation in one or two (depending on your capacity) 1 to 1.5 hour discussions with approximately four students per group on the topic of engagement.
  • Timeline: Meetings in the middle of October, dates to be announced.

SPH 547: Public Health Practice Project (Team project)

Students will be completing a team-based practice experience working on a project or problem proposed by an organization. Student teams work as if they were consultants, hired to complete a time-limited (110h/student) piece of work for the organization. Please note: This course runs in fall (September - December: 12 weeks) and spring (May - June: eight weeks)

Support for this looks like:

  • submission of a project proposal to Erin Pollock 
    • a larger project (one or more teams) or multiple projects are welcomed
  • attendance at course kick-off meeting 
  • onboarding of project team, participation in team meetings and providing guidance as needed
  • contribution to student assessment

More information and proposal examples can be found here .

SPH 598: Public Health Practice Experience and Capping Project

As the final piece of the MPH puzzle, students are ready to demonstrate their competencies in the field — they bring all their learning and experiences to your team to support the work they do.

Support for this would look like:

  • an 11-13 week immersive placement for a graduate student within your organization
  • mentorship on a variety of projects
  • student assessment at mid-point and end-point

More information can be found here .